BY GERAINT ANDERSON
CITY Boy, aka Geraint Anderson, rode the success of the City in its pre-crunch prime in two ways. One: by raking in the cash in a Chateau Margaux fuelled frenzy and two, by capitalising on people’s fascination with the dark side of client entertainment in the Square Mile. His anonymous column, City Boy, which ran in the now-defunct thelondonpaper, attracted national attention and scored him a book deal. City Boy: the book, was a minor blockbuster, detailing the mainly fictional romps of one Steve Jones, a good-looking, relatively charming man who had no problem bedding women and few moral qualms with the corruption surrounding him.
This book sees the injection of a thriller-style plot, involving Steve in a murder charge and a race for his life as he’s pursued by Colombian drug lords hell bent on not just his skin, but that of his girlfriend Gemma, too.
Anderson’s writing is at its best when he’s chronicling Steve’s action-packed escapes and scrapes. The rest of the time, well – let’s just say it’s not Shakespeare. Anderson is no dummy: he went to Oxford. But his writing suffers from being very red in the face, particularly when he’s going on (and on) about greed, ill-gotten gains and financial skullduggery. Borrrrrrring.
Indeed, this ranting about the evils of the City does Anderson no favours: he’s merely trading on a now completely cliched demonisation of the very world that a) he chose to enter and b) that made him rich. The “fathomless avarice” and “hideous chaos” of his colleagues’ “tireless greed” just jangles.
That said, there is a certain neurotic energy to the book that makes it weirdly gripping. It’s old news, certainly, but as graceless as it is, there is a kind of panache lurking that Anderson should harness.